No Two Alike - Keith Baker
With spare verse and a quiet, winter landscape, Baker (LMNO Peas) presents an ode to uniqueness, particularly as it pertains to nature. His artwork invites readers to observe the world closely, to notice that "No two snowflakes are alike,/ almost, almost.../ but not quite." Two playful red birds are the focal point of each pale spread as they investigate things that are not quite the same: "No two nests,/ so soft and round,/ no two tracks upon the ground./ No two branches, no two leaves,/ no two forests, full of trees." Displaying both mischief and curiosity, the birds ski on fallen pine needles, nibble leaves to make them resemble snowflakes, aim snowballs at a distant fox, knock snow from fence posts, and eventually ask, "Are we the same just alike?" In answer, the ending illustrations show two red feathers, one tipped in black, rocking in a snowy blue sky: "Almost, almost.../ but not quite." Baker's digital artwork conveys a sense of painterly softness and warmth, and children should appreciate the gentle self-esteem boost that comes with the reassurance that they are one of a kind. Ages 3 7.